Marx is here to stay

2017-10-19 06:00
PHOTO: suppiedMalcolm Marx in action.

PHOTO: suppiedMalcolm Marx in action.

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FOLLOWING Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx’s heroics against the All Blacks at Newlands at the weekend, SA Rugby have wasted no time in securing the player’s services for the next three years.

Marx has signed a tripartite contract with SA Rugby and the Golden Lions that will keep him in South Africa until at least 2020.

The 23-year-old was South Africa’s best player on the park in the narrow 25-24 defeat. He was instrumental on defence and with ball in hand, and also won several penalties at the breakdown, which got the Boks out of trouble on countless occasions.

His lineout throwing was also much more accurate, with the Boks winning 13 of 14 on their own throw.

The official man-of-the-match accolade went to All Black fullback Damian McKenzie, but several pundits felt Marx deserved the award.

A New Zealand website gave the strong Bok hooker a perfect 10 out of 10 in their ratings.

Pieter-Steph du Toit was another top performer for the Boks who wishes to continue in the green and gold for some time.

A second-rower by trade, Du Toit had only ever started two Tests on the side of the scrum for the Boks.

The first of those came at the 2015 World Cup in England when the Boks were stunned by Japan and the second was on the end-of-year tour in 2016 where they lost 37-21 to England at Twickenham. In that match, Du Toit struggled with his loose forward defensive responsibilities.

On Saturday, though, the 25-year-old was superb.

Now, as coach Allister Coetzee plots the way forward, he does so in the knowledge that he has another option at No. 7.

“I don’t care where I play,” Du Toit said. “For this team, it’s quite emotional if you get a start. You just want to try and impress the coaches and your team-mates. We’re trying to give our hearts to each other and if we can achieve that, then I think our goal is achieved.”

On Saturday, Du Toit made 21 carries — more than any other forward on the park. He also made 10 tackles and enforced a turnover. It was Du Toit’s aggression and strength, on both defence and attack, that made him so valuable.

Coetzee must take credit for backing Du Toit at No. 7 in what was a Test for the ages, but the player himself says he doesn’t mind where he is used.

Du Toit added that he was pleased with his all-round performance, but was clearly hurting that the result didn’t go South Africa’s way. “I felt quite confident, but I guess people are going to still say it wasn’t good enough because we didn’t win the game,” he said. “Luckily, we’ve got good coaches that back us, and luckily they know what they’re doing.”

South Africa are next in action when they take on Ireland on November 11.

— Sport24.

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